Possession of stolen firearms results in lengthy prison term

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

CAPE GIRARDEAU - Four persons were sentenced in federal court in connection with firearm charges.

Scott County resident Jessie L. Mercer, 28, was sentenced to 188 months on one felony count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of firearms and Jonathan R. Ward, 29, was sentenced to 21 months on one felony count of possession of stolen firearms.

On May 31, a New Madrid County resident reported his residence had been burglarized and that seven firearms and other personal property had been stolen.

Later that same day, a Mississippi County deputy received word that some men were trying to sell several stolen firearms. The deputy set up a surveillance on the location where the sale was supposed to occur. Mercer and Ward arrived at the location, and a subsequent search of their vehicle revealed six of the above firearms. The other gun was recovered from another person who said that he had purchased it from Mercer.

Mercer and Ward later admitted that they had burglarized the house and stolen the firearms.

Due to a previous felony conviction, Mercer is forbidden to possess firearms.

Ricky Mixon, 21, of Sikeston, was sentenced to 57 months on one felony count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

On Oct. 10, 2003, a Sikeston police officer attempted to arrest Mixon and, during that attempt, Mixon took a Titan, .25 caliber pistol, from his clothes and threw it to the ground. Mixon was detained shortly after and the pistol was seized by officers. Due to his previous felony convictions, Mixon is forbidden to possess firearms.

Kristy J. Turnage, 26, of Memphis, Tenn., was sentenced to eight months imprisonment and eight months home confinement on one felony count of possession of a firearm while an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

On Dec. 9, 2002, Turnage was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a speeding violation in New Madrid County by a Missouri Highway Patrolman. The officer asked for and was granted permission to search the car, where he found a Lorcin, Model L-380, .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Turnage told the officer that the pistol was hers. The officer determined that the pistol has been stolen. She later admitted that she had used certain controlled substances during the period of time when the pistol was found.

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